before breakfast - Miller0 Who Really Cooked Breakfast In...

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Miller1 Who Really Cooked Breakfast? In Eugene O’Neill’s Before Breakfast By Freddie Miller English 1102-207 December 6, 2007 Dr. Abbott
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Miller2 Who Really Cooked Breakfast? In Eugene O’Neill’s Before Breakfast O’Neill’s Before Breakfast is a play about a married couple’s distress between one another. While only Mrs. Rowland’s speaks and is on stage, the audience is able to get a sense of the silent Mr. Rowland’s struggles. Apart from Before Breakfast , the playwright experiences the same struggles and experiences in his own life. Throughout O’Neill’s life he lived victim to circumstances. He was reared in an unstable environment and once apart from his parents, he continued to live in the same fashion. At times, O’Neill was depressed, he struggled with alcoholism, and even attempted to murder himself. The emotions and events of his life possibly influenced him as a writer. In a search for theatrical validation, O’Neill’s Before Breakfast was inspired by the realities of his individual life. Eugene O’Neill was a child who was reared in a rather extraordinary fashion. At the time of O’Neill’s birth, his father was a famous actor, his mom was addicted to morphine, and his older brother was a confirmed alcoholic (Gassner). Due to the nature of his father’s profession, the first seven years of Eugene O’Neill’s life were spent touring the United States with his family (Jensen). O’Neill never saw the opportunity to grow up in a stable, have a place to call home, and was always switching between private boarding schools (Gassner). Eventually, the O’Neill family settled into a cottage in New London, Connecticut where O’Neill sought the duration of grammar and high school (Stilling). Although, the new stability in the O’Neill family was intended to create happiness, it did exactly contrary. When O’Neill was fifteen, his mother attempted to drown herself in the New London waters while under the influence of morphine (Eugene). Ironically, eight years later, Eugene O’Neill attempted suicide as well (Gassner). All throughout his time in New London, O’Neill was miserable. In a 1905 letter to his girlfriend he explains his emotions: “everyday is composed of twenty four hours, each equivalent to ten in any
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Miller3 other place…in the graveyard there is some excitement in reading the inscription on the tombstones.” In fact, some of his later works were inspired by the emotions associated with New London. To escape the reality of his situation, O’Neill and his sister were often found in local clubs and pubs attempting to find any form of relaxation. (Gonzalez) Finally, in the fall of 1906, O’Neill found an outlet from his miserable childhood in the form of Princeton University. Unfortunately, after flunking the majority of attempted courses and getting into trouble, O’Neill withdrew from the university in the spring of 1907 (Stilling). After leaving Princeton, O’Neill found employment in acting and supply companies through his father,
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before breakfast - Miller0 Who Really Cooked Breakfast In...

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